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Israel-Palestine Updates
Last updated 01/11/2007



Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is being investigated for his role in the sale of a major bank while serving as finance minister.



Israel allowed Egypt to ship a cache of weapons to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to aid in his struggle with Hamas.

According to Israeli officials, Iran has been sending as much as $15 million a month to the Hamas movement enabling it to build a paramilitary force parallel to Abbas' security apparatus. 

Israeli PM Olmert tries to boost moderate PA President Mahmoud Abbas in his struggle with Hamas by removing some of the roadblocks in the West Bank, offering $100 million in frozen tax income and indicating he might release some Palestinian prisoners.

Abbas and Olmert hold summit.

12/11 Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, inadvertently acknowledged that Israel has nuclear weapons.

12/11 Three young sons of Fatah loyalist, Col. Baha Balousheh, were killed on their way to school. Balousheh was targeted in a failed attack by Hamas militants in September 2006.

12/9 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he expected to call early elections in a bid to oust the Hamas government, end Western economic sanctions and open the way for peace talks with Israel.

November 2006
The Palestinian Hamas Cabinet and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh agreed to step down to be replaced by experts with ties to, but not members of Hamas, in hopes of ending the crippling boycott of aid put in place in March.  

June 2006
In early June 2006, Popular Resistance Committees leader, Jamal Abu-Samhadana, was killed by Israeli Defense Forces.

On Sunday, June 25th, the Palestinian militant faction, Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) finished a tunnel dug from Gaza to Israel and launched an attack. The offensive ended with the kidnapping of 19-year old Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit on June 25th.  The same day, Israelis found the body of an 18-year old Jewish settler from the West Bank who had been kidnapped and executed by the same group.

Israel rounded up and detained more than two dozen Hamas elected officials on June 28. Palestinians feared that the "jailing of so many Hamas politicians at once could paralyze a government already beset by an international aid boycott.

Israel bombed the Palestinian Interior Ministry building in downtown Gaza City and other targets on June 30th. Israelis say the attack was intended to end Qassam (Kassam) rocket fire from Gaza into the Israeli village of Sderot, undermine the Hamas Damascus headquarters and perhaps topple the Hamas government.

April 2006
Street fighting erupts between Hamas and the more moderate Fatah Party when Palestinian Authority PResident Mahmoud Abbas, of Fatah, attempted to limit Hamas' policing power.

January, 2005
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen) forbade civilians to carry weapons in an effort to rein in militant groups and quell lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 

December, 2004
American migration to Israel is on the rise for the first time in 20 years.

December, 2004
Abbas, the new head of the PLO after Arafat's death, claimed that Palestinians had a right to struggle against Israel --but encouraged resistance by peaceful means. 

November 27, 2004

Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi decided not to run in the Palestinian presidential election giving Mahmoud Abbas a clear advantage.

November 10, 2004

PLO and Palestinian Authority leader, Yasser Arafat dies. (See Arafat update)

October 29, 2004

Yasser Arafat was airlifted to a French hospital after he lost consciousness.

October 25, 2004

Israel's parliament (Knesset) voted to give up control over the Gaza Strip. (See Gaza Strip update)

August, 2004

Israel’s Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, approved the construction of 600 new homes in Maale Adumim, a large settlement outside Jerusalem in the West Bank.  The building project is seen as a violation of the road map which calls on Israel to freeze settlement activity.  The Israeli government claims the restriction applies only to the development of new settlements and outposts, not construction on existing settlements. 

The controversial separation barrier is expected to be built around the settlement, enclosing it within Israel-proper.


Three Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel have been killed by fellow Palestinians.


Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Korei and the PA Cabinet have approved a plan to deal with increasing lawlessness and civil unrest. The proposal includes plans to issue uniforms to the police force, purchase police vehicles and improve lines of command.  

July, 2004

27 - Palestinian Authority Prime Minster Ahmed Korei withdrew his resignation after Arafat agreed to adhere to the "basic law," the Palestinian constitution which grants the prime minister and president shared governmental powers, including control over the security forces.

17 - Several thousand Palestinians protested in Gaza over Yasser's appointment of his unpopular and corrupt cousin,  Musa Arafat, as head of general security.

The appointment of Musa Arafat, Yasser Arafat's reluctance to loosen his grip on the control of the security services and the lack of institutional reforms led Prime Minister Ahmed Korei to submit his resignation.  

June, 2004

May, 2004

15 -- More than 100,000 Israelis demonstrated in favor of Ariel Sharon's plan to pull-out of the Gaza Strip.  Earlier, sixty percent of eligible Likud Party voters rejected the plan in a Party referendum. 

April, 2004

17 -- Less than a month after he replaced Sheikh Yassin as head of Hamas, Dr. Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi was also killed by Israeli forces.

Ariel Sharon warned that Arafat was among those who might be targeted for assassination (see Yassin).

March, 2004
22 -- Hamas founder and leader, cleric Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was killed by Israeli missiles. 





Israel-Palestine in a Nutshell